If it ain’t broke, break it – and get procurement to buy you a new one

20 April 2011
You will probably be familiar with the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. It was coined by Bert Lance, who was director the US Office of Management and Budget (which coincidentally also handles procurement policy) in 1977. But it seems some office workers have decided to apply reverse logic by purposefully breaking their company’s IT equipment to get new devices. Startling research by Mozy, a provider of online backup services, discovered that companies across Europe are failing to replace outdated technology quickly enough, leading frustrated workers - whose productivity is inhibited by crashes and data loss - to take more drastic measures. The study, which surveyed 600 IT managers and 3,000 employees across the UK, France and Germany, revealed a quarter of office workers believe the quickest way to get a new phone or laptop in their company is to resort to unorthodox methods, including deliberately damaging (13 per cent) or trading in their existing device (15 per cent), or buying new parts to perform an upgrade themselves (7 per cent). French workers are apparently the most likely to give in to a fit of anger and smash their screen, with 20 per cent of the belief this would be a more effective way to get an upgrade than, say, submit a request to their line manager. Interestingly, just 17 per cent of UK office workers would approach procurement or IT to approve an upgrade and provide a new device, compared to 32 per cent in France and 27 per cent in Germany. Claire Galbois-Alcaix, EMEA senior marketing manager at Mozy, warned that by not updating their technology, companies run the risk of losing valuable data. "What starts out as a money-saving exercise can end up costing your whole business," she said.
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